Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week in Review

First, I got 5 days of training in! That's the first time I've done that in a long time.
I hit 199 minutes of training. The goal was 318 minutes, so I'm still not close, but I'm okay with that, and I'll explain why in a little while. I did increase volume by 62 minutes from the previous week, which is significant.
I have 2 concerns when I look at the week. First, I didn't swim at all. It's not a huge deal in terms of the long term goal, but I should be getting in the pool at least once a week. Second, I experienced some sensitivity to touch on the top of my foot. It doesn't hurt to walk, run or bike. But, if even the sheets brushed over the top of my foot, I woke up in pain. And, the last time I did swim, the water pressure hurt during kicks. I'm hoping that it is related to some shoe issues, and will easily resolve itself.

Now, why aren't I worried about missing my training minute goals? 2 reasons. First, I made conscious decisions through out this week, to put my family first on several occasions. It's what I needed/wanted to do. So instead of scrambling to try to make up the missed minutes, I let them go. Second, I am loosely following a Beginner Triathlete 20 week plan for an Oly distance. But for the swim and run, that is over training for what I need.
My "A-list" race is the Northern Columbia Sprint Tri. However, this is not a traditional sprint distance race. The swim is a 1/4 mile. That's standard for a sprint. But the bike is 19.5 miles, which is closer to Oly distance. And the run... The run is a grueling 4.5 with about 3 of it all uphill. Last year, the run killed me!
So, given that the bike and run are in between sprint/Oly distances, there is no real training plan specific to me. If I chose a sprint distance training plan, I will be woefully under prepared. If I follow the oly plan, I have room to not make all my planned minutes each week.

What's up for this week?
3 runs totaling 11 miles. That should be about 110 minutes.
2 bikes, totaling 155 minutes.
1 swim, totaling 30 minutes.

That's it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bookin' Feet

I've been keeping a secret.

Now I'm pretty sure my sister is jumping up and down, shouting, "YOU'RE PREGNANT!"

NO! That's not it.

I've been working on a project for a few months now, and it's finally up and running!

In my career, I often work with women who have really had a rough life. Many times, I've met a woman and realized that she has had so much trauma in her life, prior to her injury, that the recovery process is going to be long and difficult.It makes me angry. As I get to know these women, I realize that from the time they were little girls they've been belittled, put down, demoralized, and some times horrifically abused. That's a lot for any woman to get through. Now, add in all the cognitive and behavioral challenges that can occur with a brain injury, and the struggles can seem almost insurmountable. Often I think, "if some one had paid attention when she was a kid,Maybe she'd have a chance now." It's a thought that has haunted me for a long time. A feeling that we need to invest more energy on our children.

Then, back in the early summer, I started to develop an idea. A concept that combines two things I love. Two things that helped me get through tough times in my life. Reading and running. I started to try to figure out how I could work with young girls, combining those 2 activities, to help girls build their self esteem, find a voice, and increase their self confidence.

The idea: To meet weekly with a group of girls, in 4th through 6th grade. We would use a book with a strong girl as the main character. Each week, our time would be broken into 3 segments.
Warm up games/discussion focusing on a specific theme in the book.
Training- some running and walking. Focusing on getting stronger with the ultimate goal of running a 5K.
Cool down/discussion of how our lives are similar to the characters, or how the book relates to our life.

I met with a woman from the local chapter of "Girls Inc" last fall, and pitched my loosely formed idea to her. She loved it. And "Bookin'Feet" was born! I spent time scouring the library for books with girls as the main characters, who are strong in the face of adversity.

The program started 3 weeks ago at our local Girls' inc!

There are 8 girls in this pilot group. I chose the book "Saharra's Special" This week, we will use the book to talk about labels. We'll explore the idea of "Good/bad" labels. I want to expose them to a few concepts:
First, to challenge the idea of "Good and Bad" and suggest the ideas of healthy and unhealthy.
Second, I want to get them to begin to question if any label is actually healthy, or are they all detrimental on some level.
For the cool down, I will ask them about labels other people have put on them, and labels they put on themselves. Is there a difference between the 2 lists? And, how do the labels affect their behaviors and what people expect of them.

I'm so excited to be developing this program. My hope is that we can find a volunteer to expand the program to the Schenectady branch next year.

I have to add a special thanks to my daughter, Shayna. She has been my sounding board through out the planning phase of this project. She's helped me brainstorm for a name, and has listened to my curriculum ideas. She's been supportive and enthusiastic, and has kept me going. Thanks Shay!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Training Woes

Man, I've been struggling with getting all my workouts in!
Last week, I was scheduled to do 2 bikes, 3 runs and 2 swims. For a total of 288 minutes of training.
I managed:
2 runs, 1 bike and 1 swim. for a total of 137 minutes. OUCH! Geez Louise- that's not good. So, I took a look at what happened, and here is what I discovered:
1.In the training plan I'm following, Sunday is a long day, with a bike and a swim. I missed both last week.
2. The long swim was scheduled to be 40 minutes. There's no way I can do 40 minutes of swimming right now. I'm just not there.
3. I missed a run. No excuses- I just didn't commit to it.

This is what I'm thinking:
1.I'm following an oly plan right now. But, this might not be the year to tackle that. I might have to drop back to sprint training, because of time commitments and constraints.
2.If I do follow through with the Oly training, I will have to accept that I will always be under the scheduled training minutes, because of the swim issue.
3. Unlike most people, the weekends don't work for my long training sessions. Kevin is much too busy on the weekends, and I just cant fit in a 2 hour training session.
4. Even though I only did 137 minutes last week, it's still more than I've done in the past month. So, from a perspective of injury prevention, jumping to 288 minutes last week would have been foolish.
5. Not related to tri training- but it looks like the 1/2 mary I heard was going to be organized for April, isn't going to happen. So, that makes things a bit easier.

I'll see how this week goes, and if I can identify other trends, then make a decision about how to proceed. And, Once Kevin gets settled into the new band, life should get easier.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Weekend update

The "Hope for Hannah" black tie affair that I attended with Kevin the other night was fantastic. This was a fund raising event to support research looking for a cure for GAN. Which is a rare genetic neurological disorder. Almost nothing is known about this disease. Hannah's parents started this organization to fund research looking for treatment. We took separate cars, because he had a second gig later in the night, which I chose not to go to.
The preparations for the evening were almost as much fun as the event itself. Shayna came home for the weekend to help me get ready, and to babysit. We went dress shopping, and I had great luck finding this little black dress and the shoes to go with it:

On Saturday, I spent much time pulling all the little details of the outfit together. Shayna did my hair for me. It was much more refined than I generally wear it.
This was Kevin's second official gig with the Refrigerators. All I can say, is what an awesome band! They sound great and have fantastic attitudes. I met several of the wives, and they were all very welcoming to me.

And, at the end of the night, Dexter joined in the fun. He looked quite handsome wearing my bracelet as a crown.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Conversation at Work

Sitting in our freezing office, I had this exchange with my coworker:
Me: "If you really want to get warm, go use the ladies room on the next floor. It's like 85 degrees in there."
"How do you know that?"
"Sometimes I use that bathroom so that I can run up a flight of stairs to get my heart rate going."

"You need help." With a look of total disbelief on her face.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Getting up to Speed

Update time:
After three auditions, Kevin was offered the job I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Now that he is officially in, i can tell you that he'll be playing with The Refrigerators! These guys are awesome! And it will be a fun opportunity for him. This Saturday I am going with him to the black tie fundraiser that is on their home page. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous about going to a black tie event. I mean really, what the heck am I supposed to wear?

Shay is back at school, safe and having fun. The kids miss her. Especially Jack, and in the past he hasn't missed her very much. But, every day he tells me the story of when he was "Borning" and he was crying and cold and the only person at the hospital with him was Shayna, and she held him and kissed him and he stopped crying. Because she loves him the best. That's his story, and he's sticking to it.

Mack just received 2 "Student of Character" awards at school. The assembly was today, and my mom was able to go.

My trip to Tampa was fun. I learned quite a bit about the company: it's history and the vision of our new management team. Plus, I got to play beach volleyball for an afternoon!

Although I haven't chosen a half marathon yet, I've started the training this week. Hopefully I'll find something nearby.

That's it for now. More to tell, but I'm tired. So, it'll wait for another day.